Less than a year after winning an Oscar for Get Out, writer-director Jordan Peele introduced the trailer for his new horror movie Us to a select group of journalists last week in Los Angeles.
While the film has been shrouded in secrecy since it was first announced, Peele explained that Us stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke from Black Panther, as well as child actors Shahadi Wright Joseph (soon to be heard as young Nala in The Lion King) and Evan Alex. In the vaguest of terms, they play a family who encounter uninvited guests at their beach house. Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Tim Heidecker co-star as family friends. It’s still unclear who Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Aquaman) and Anna Diop are playing, but they co-star alongside Kara Hayward, Nathan Harrington and twins Cali and Noelle Sheldon, while Jack Nicholson‘s grandson Duke Nicholson also has a small role.
Peele said it was important for him to cast a black family at the center of a horror movie, though he specifically said that unlike Get Out, his new film is “not about race.” Instead, Peele revealed that it’s “about something I feel has become an undeniable truth, and that is the simple fact that we are our own worst enemies.” That’s certainly what the copy in the trailer is emphasizing. While Peele may be steering clear of race this time around, Us still seems inherently political, as if Peele has fashioned a monster out of our inner demons and the darkest impulses that we keep repressed.
“I dedicated a lot of myself to creating a new horror mythology, and a new monster,” said Peele, who called Us “a labor of love.” Peele said he likes operating in the horror genre because it allows him to confront societal fears. Peele hopes the trailer will be a “nice, eerie, creepy-ass gift” for genre fans as they celebrate the holidays with their families. You’ve probably seen it by now, but if you’ve been too busy opening presents then CLICK HERE RIGHT NOW.
The trailer opens with Duke and Nyong’o driving to their beach house with their daughter and young son, who is wearing a mask. The Luniz song “I Got Five On It” is playing over the car stereo. The family meets up with Moss and Heidecker on the beach and the boy wanders off, eventually crossing paths with a blood-soaked man carrying a pair of scissors. Later that night, the family is startled when another family appears menacingly in their driveway. “It’s probably the neighbors,” they think. But we soon come to learn that it’s not the neighbors. “It’s us.” Yes, it seems that the family is attacking itself. “They look like us. They think like us… and they won’t stop until they kill us, or we kill them.” Nyongo’s tells her son, “stick with me and I’ll keep you safe,” but of course, that’s easier said than done. I mean, how do you prevent your daughter from strangling herself? I can’t wait to see this movie, because the trailer left me with even more questions than I had when I knew nothing about Us.
After the trailer ended (to much applause from press), Peele ran out on the stage and pantomimed a mic drop before the studio played the trailer one more time. And then that was it. There was no Q&A with Peele. We still don’t know who wears the awesome glove as seen on the poster, nor do we know the significance of the scissors, the red robes, and what Universal and Peele have referred to as “the untethering.” Also… what’s with all the rabbits? We’ll just have to wait and see.
As I left the Universal lot, I couldn’t help but think to myself, ‘the Candyman remake is in good hands.’ Once you’ve seen the first trailer for Us, let me know what you think on Twitter and in the comments section below.